‘Lawin’ danger prompts pre-emptive evacuation call

‘Lawin’ danger prompts pre-emptive evacuation call

MANILA — An expert raised urgency for pre-emptive evacuation of people from Northern Luzon’s danger areas to protect them from landslides and floods that the approaching typhoon ‘Lawin’ (international name ‘Haima’) may trigger.

“They must move to safer grounds while there’s still time,” said lands geological survey chief Lilian Rollan from the environment department’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

She urged action, noting a number of areas across Northern Philippines are susceptible to flooding and water-induced landslides.

Downpour from typhoon ‘Karen’ (international name ‘Sarika’) and other tropical cyclones before it may have left soil in some Northern Luzon areas already saturated with water, she continued.

“Such condition make those areas really prone to landslides,” she said.

In its severe weather bulletin 4 released Tuesday (Oct. 18), State-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that ‘Lawin’ might make a landfall early Thursday (Oct. 20) in Northern Luzon’s Cagayan area.

Communities there, however, would likely begin experiencing downpour and strong winds of ‘Lawin’this Wednesday (Oct. 19), clarified PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio.

He expects ‘Lawin’ to bring heavy rainfall to the area.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) cautioned against either nearing or climbing mountains in Northern Luzon at this time when ‘Lawin’ is about to strike the area so people can avoid being trapped there like some 100 mountaineers stranded in Bataan province’s Mt. Tarak this month due to stormy weather from’Karen.’

“Downpour from ‘Lawin’ can dislodge soil and other deposits along slopes of those mountains,” said Phivolcs geology chief Dr. Arturo Daag.

He also noted probability for landslides is higher in mountains with thicker soil cover.

Phivolcs said various inactive volcanoes and six active volcanoes exist in Northern Luzon, which includes Batanes province and Babuyan Islands.

“The active volcanoes haven’t erupted in a long time so lesser volcanic deposits are likely there compared to Mayon Volcano and others with more frequent eruptions,” noted Phivolcs volcanologist Paul Alanis.

He clarified prolonged heavy rainfall from ‘Lawin’ can still erode such deposits, however.

PAGASA located ‘Lawin’ at 950 km east of Camarines Norte province’s capital Daet as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 185 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 230 kph.

“Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 650-km diameter of the typhoon,” noted PAGASA.

‘Lawin’ can intensify further before it makes a landfall, PAGASA said.

PAGASA forecast ‘Lawin’ to move west-northwest at 25 kph.

The typhoon will likely cross landmass and head towards Apayao and Ilocos Norte provinces after a landfall in the Cagayan area, PAGASA added. Catherine Teves/PNA-northboundasia